|Meet & Greet Authors|
Robert Baittie (USA): Designer, Author, and Shaman, Robert Baittie has turned a personal setback into an inspiring push forward. “Tremors in the Universe” shares the story of how Parkinson’s changed his life for the better. Robert’s story is not what most have come to expect. Robert found another way. Another way of thinking. Another way of living.
Alice Lazzarini, PhD (USA): In her memoir, Both Sides Now: A Journey From Researcher to Patient, Dr. Alice Lazzarini tells the story of having been named one of the twenty top authors in Parkinson disease (PD) research from 1996 through 2006, only to realize she was developing the very same disease that she had spent years studying.
In 1994 Alice authored a family study that helped to turn the tide of thinking toward a genetic component to Parkinson’s. Then, as part of the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/National Institutes of Health/University of Naples team, she traveled to Contursi, Italy to collect blood samples that led to the 1997 report of the first PD-causing gene mutation (PARK1) in alpha-synuclein, a protein now viewed as the most promising target for a disease modifying therapy.
In addition to Parkinson disease, she has contributed to the research on X-linked mental retardation, spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), Restless Legs Syndrome, as well as Huntington disease, for which she participated in the development of the first predictive testing protocols. As a retired Clinical Associate Professor in Neurology at Rutgers, she uses her story to advocate on behalf of Parkinson’s. She has her own site alicelazzarini.com, and has blogged for Psychology Today and the Foxfeed, as well as for the American Parkinson Disease Association, (scroll to May 19th), which receives 20% of all book sales.
Renee Le Verrier, RYT (USA): is a stroke survivor, certified yoga instructor, author and person living with Parkinson’s. Renee modifies yoga to benefit people with movement disorders. She has taught at Massachusetts General Hospital, for a stroke recovery program and with the Massachusetts Chapter of the APDA. Currently, she teaches weekly classes with the Northwest Parkinson Foundation.
The large library of yoga books she keeps featured very few on Parkinson’s. So she wrote Yoga for Movement Disorders: Rebuilding Strength, Balance and Flexibility for Parkinson’s Disease and Dystonia as well as its Companion DVD. Renee also shares insights and resources on yoga and Parkinson’s in her blog. HealthLine named it Best of the Web in 2014 and 2015.
Other books by Renee include a yoga alphabet book, A, B, C…X, Yoga, Z and A Treasure Hunt for Mama and Me: Helping Children Cope with Parental Illness. She wrote the first working with her son. The second was written for him.
Look for her young adult novel, Duke’s Code, in October and two books on service dogs in 2017. Renee writes and teaches in the Seattle area where she lives with her husband, son, and a variety of four-legged friends.
Nan Little, PhD (USA): Cyclist, author, speaker, mountain climber, anthropologist, teacher, volunteer, flyfisherwoman, wife, mom, grandma, friend. Diagnosed in 2008 at age 62, Nan cycled across Iowa five times, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, trekked to Annapurna base Camp and hiked the Inca Trail. Nan joins Parkinson’s patients climbing steep mountains every day.
Soania Mathur, MD (Canada): is a family physician living outside of Toronto, Ontario who had to resign her practice as a result of her Young Onset Parkinson's Disease a full twelve years after her diagnosis at age 27. Now she is a dedicated speaker, writer, educator and Parkinson's advocate. She speaks passionately about the challenges of adjusting physically and emotionally and the coping strategies available to patients to take charge of their lives, too live well with Parkinson’s.
Dr. Mathur has a special interest in helping educate the youngest affected by the stress of this chronic disease. To help facilitate dialogue between children and their loved ones, she has authored two books: “My Grandpa’s Shaky Hands”and “Shaky Hands – A Kid’s Guide To Parkinson’s Disease”. All proceeds from the sales of these books (available on Amazon) will be donated back to support Parkinson’s research and other efforts that serve the PD community.
Jon Palfreman, PhD (USA): is Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Oregon. He is an Emmy, duPont, and Peabody Award-winning journalist, a Nieman Fellow, and the recipient of the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting. In addition to producing more than 40 prime time documentaries for the BBC and PBS, Palfreman is the co-author of The Case of the Frozen Addicts and The Dream Machine. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Israel Robledo (USA): was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2007 at age 42. Soon after coming to terms with his diagnosis, he became involved as an advocate for increased clinical trial participation and health-related quality of life issues related to Parkinson's. Israel works as a special education teacher in Midland, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Chris.
Jon Stamford, PhD (UK): is a neuroscientist with a double interest in Parkinson's. As well as leading a research laboratory investigating the neurochemistry of Parkinson's for more than a decade, Dr. Stamford also has young onset Parkinson's disease. He has published three neuroscience books and more than 200 research publications (reviews, papers, abstracts) in an academic career lasting 23 years.He holds an honorary readership at the University of Leicester, and is a scientific consultant and member of the patient advocates group with the Cure Parkinson's Trust. Jon also writes a humorous and influential weekly blog "Slice of Life" about life with young onset Parkinson's.